Fluoride Action Network

London: Health unit backs fluoridation

Source: The London Free Press | February 18th, 2011 | By Chip Martin
Location: Canada, Ontario

If you don’t like fluoride, better quit drinking London water.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit on Thursday voted to support continued fluoridation of city water despite delegations demanding an end to the 53-year-old practice.

Without debate or taking questions from a handful of fluoride opponents, the health unit board backed a report that said fluoride in the water is a good measure to maintain dental health.

But opponents, who were denied an opportunity to question city or health unit officials, were not deterred.

“We’ll get this out of the water, no matter what,” said Nicole Kuzmanovich as she left the meeting.

Earlier she said her daughter contracted “fluorosis” because she can’t tolerate the treatment touted as valuable to reduce tooth decay.

Kuzmanovich termed the practice “draconian, outdated, unethical, with no science, nothing behind it, nothing at all.”

“I’m not wacky,” she said. “I’m pissed off.”

Joe Cummins, a retired geneticist and professor at Western, said there is plenty of good science on the Internet that shows the damage fluoridation can do.

“There is a relationship between fluoride and cancer and damage to genes,” he said. Cummins said fluoride also loosens lead in pipes in older homes, but he was contradicted by Dan Huggins, water quality manager for the city of London, who said adjusting the PH balance neutralizes that likelihood.

Engineer Chris Gupta argued “there is no such thing as (a) safe water fluoridation level.”

“Given the toxicity of this substance, why is the health board insisting on adding it to our water?”

Gupta said the city should put warning labels on its water bills, warn pregnant women about the risks to their babies and to infants under one year of age and “discontinue medicating our water.”

School teacher Michael van Holst said instead of helping poor families prevent tooth decay, fluoridation means the water can’t be used in infant formula, requiring more expensive alternatives.

Water manager Huggins said London spends about $133,000 annually to fluoridate its water. Dr. Bryna Warshawsky, associate medical officer of health, said fluoridation is a key component of preventative health care and science confirms it is safe.